The latest project out of the mind of Ghost Factory Racing’s team manager is this Lector FS Unicorn II full-suspension mountain bike. In between prepping their race bikes, team mechanics were buffing the spring pollen off of the most blinged-out XC bike in the Nové Město World Cup pits ahead of this past weekend’s racing. While it wasn’t racing the World Cup itself, this rare unicorn was built up almost exactly like the team bikes, in a surprisingly stock build once you get over the fancy BikeAhead components…
2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II XC project bike
We first spotted the original full-suspension Ghost Lector FS on the Nové Město World Cup track back in 2020. And the German brand based just 5km from the Czech border does like to debut new bikes here – whether special editions or prototypes.
In fact, race team manager Tom Wickles had his shiny pink Unicorn I super bike here last spring. But COVID restrictions at the time kept that wild project bike from a broader audience. In any case, that bike was more about over-the-top customization, while this one simply brings the bling with a spec list you can just buy off-the-shelf…
Special Edition Details
The Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II is as rare as its namesake, a one-off complete build and finish. But the frame itself is a stock Lector FS SF with the same Lightweight Carbon (LC) layup as their six different full carbon cross-country full-suspension build options.
The 29er Lector FS is unique in that its suspension travel is size-specific, so Tom’s size Large gets 120mm of rear wheel travel matched to a 120mm SID Ultimate fork.
Ghost calls the short-link 4-bar suspension Traction Link, based on their longer travel Riot trail bike. It uses a one-piece rear triangle for lightweight & stiffness, connected to the front end with two carbon linkages on oversized sealed bearings.
The Ghost Lector FS Unicorn build gets a direct flush-mount 8 Pins post for the cleanest dropper install ever, plus the absolute maximum dropper travel possible. The bike also includes an extra cage or tool mount under the toptube, for XC & marathon racers who need to carry more than one water bottle inside the main triangle.
The Lector FS gets conventional modular internal cable routing, and an integrated 1.5″ tapered headset with internal lock block.
The rest of the SRAM drivetrain is pretty straightforward – no more Hopp carbon upgrades here.
The carbon XX1 crankset gets a Quarq AXS power meter and 4-bolt 34T chainring, connected with a silver Eagle chain to an XX1 AXS rear derailleur and black GX cassette – because even pro team managers don’t have a lot extra Eagle cassette stock lying around these days!
Pedals are even simple mid-level black Crankbrothers Candy 3s, although Tom promises to eventually give them a gold titanium axle upgrade.
Bike Ahead BiTurbo RS wheels
The Bike Ahead BiTurbo RS wheels are always an eye-catcher, even in their standard raw carbon finish. But these shiny chromed-out 6-spokes were actually what I first spotted, peeking out from behind the workbench in the Ghost Factory Racing team’s pit at the Czech World Cup…
The 27mm internal BiTurbo RS wheels have been around for almost 7 years by now, yet they still continue to pop up on everything from World Cup cross-country bikes to ultralight trail bikes, and even crazier project bikes in between.
What really makes them unique beyond their sharp-edged good looks is that the handmade-in-Germany wheels are as light as 1249g as 29ers and ultra-stiff, yet still said to be tough enough for down-country and trail riding abuse.
The Ghost Factory Racing team is one the wheels for their 3rd season, and claim to have had “not a single defect to report“.
Inside, the team use Pepi’s Tire Noodles for low-pressure flat protection. And Tom likes a set of the still pro-only 2.4″ Maxxis Aspen ST tires in the ultra-supple 170tpi pro Test Pilot casing for fast, dry riding. Or combined with a 2.35″ Rekon Race up front when he needs a bit more grip.
On a side note, one flaw we noticed with the mirror-like chrome finish covering this bike… pollen. No matter how much you want to see your reflection in a shiny mountain bike, mother nature is unavoidable in the middle of a springtime pine forest!
Bike Ahead The Unit mountain bike handlebar
A new bit of tech we hadn’t yet seen from Bike Ahead Composites is their new The Unit one-piece carbon handlebar & stem cockpit. At the low, low price of just 499€ (/s) The Unit weighs as little as 215g and is available with plenty of options. Pick from 7.5° or 9.5° backsweep, 800 or 820mm widths, 0 or 15mm rise, 0° to -12° effective stem angles, and effective stem lengths from 44-88mm.
The ultralight bars are e-bike rated, have an optional out-front GPS mount, and a 130kg rider+gear weight limit.
Tom’s cockpit is rounded off with a bit of trick detailing, swapping in an older set of Guide Ultimate brake lever bodies with Hopp carbon reservoir covers to shed a gram or two, and paired to newer Level 2-piston calipers to pair the contact-point adjust of the levers with the lighter calipers. And Wolf Tooth’s smooth bearing around-the-bar ReMote BarCentric dropper to control the 8 Pins dropper.
Oh yeah, and he goes “Full Send” with some custom-engraved ESI silicone grips, a cool customization feature anyone can order, and often overlooked.
Tom’s Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II isn’t so far off from the race bikes of Anne Terpstra & Caroline Bohé who both finished in the top ten at this third round of the UCI XCO World Cup… so keep an eye out for a Pro Bike Check coming later this week.